Sunday, 22 July 2012

Chicken and Fennel Stew (with a touch of Slovenia)





Bear with me whilst I indulge in some self indulgent trumpet blowing for a minute would you.
I love being able to cook well and one of the most pleasing things about having the confidence and the knowledge, is the ability to just coming up with something out of the blue. It could be based on something I had once, seen on TV, read in a magazine or just the thought of certain ingredients seem to spark an idea

For me this was a combination of the arrival of summer (it had better be), Dan coming back from Slovenia and bring some dried herbs with him, a hankering for a light, flavoursome dish and of course chicken



Chicken, Fennel and Tarragon work really, really well and the addition of lemon lifts everything to a new level. The stock is obvious in a stew and the light yellow Pomodpri tomatoes add body but are subtle enough to blend perfectly with the other ingredients



Prep time is minimal and would suit a long afternoon lounging outside whilst you soak up what sunshine there is this year. When the heat of the day begins to wane, remove from the oven and ladle into generous bowls, add a green salad is you wish, some bread and a glass of crisp cool white wine, perfect!





700g Boneless Chicken thighs
750g Small potatoes chopped into chunks (I used Anya)
1 Red Onion Finely Chopped
4 cloves Garlic finely chopped
1 Large fennel bulb washed, tough bits removed and quartered
1 tin of Sainsbury’s Pomodori D’Oro Plum Tomatoes
80g plain flour, seasoned well
1 Large Glass or Dry white wine
500 ml Chicken stock
Tablespoon of Chopped Tarragon
Mixed Dried Herbs, in this case Bad Ischler from Solvenia (Thanks Dan, you may have to source something more local)
Squeeze of lemon Juice
Handful of chopped Parsley
2 Tablespoons of olive oil

Preheat the oven to 160o
In a large flame proof casserole dish add the oil and put on the hob until hot
Brown the chicken in batches of about 4 at a time until browned, remove and put aside
Fry the onions until soft


Add the fry gently for another min
Add the Fennel and fry for another min


Add the remaining flour from the chicken and fry for 1 min
Add the wine stirring vigorously then leave to reduce by half
Add the tomatoes, stock and dried herbs stirring to combine everything
Finally re-add the chicken, stir well
Place the lid on the dish and cook in the oven for around 3 hours


Before you serve stir through, with lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, then finish with the chopped parsley


Serve with a green salad, some bread and of course some white wine









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